The Largest Multiplex in the Czech Republic Opens This Week
With the unveiling of the new Centrum Chodov shopping center this week, one of the Czech Republic’s biggest shopping centers gets about 70% bigger (though it still falls short of the Letňany shopping center in total floor size).
For mainstream cinema fans, the shopping center has unveiled something especially impressive: the biggest multiplex in the Czech Republic, an 18-screen “megaplex” with state-of-the-art technology that is screening films as of today.
What makes a megaplex? The line between a megaplex and multiplex is the number of screening halls, though some sources make the distinction at 14 screens and others at 20 screens, which the new location falls short of.
Cinema City Chodov’s 18 screens, does, however, make it the biggest cinema in the Czech Republic, with a total of 2,629 seats. But is it the best?
Among the new offerings at Cinema City Chodov are a 4DX cinema, a concept that already exists in Prague at Cinema City Nový Smíchov and boasts motion seats that jostle the viewer, in-cinema smoke and lightning effects, bursts of air from the back of your seat that mimic gunshots, and some (usually quite unpleasant) smells.
Having seen a few features in 4DX, the experience is… fun, in an amusement park kind of way. But certainly not the way to see a serious film, and the effects can get annoying during movies with longer running times.
4DX tickets run for 285 CZK (315 CZK for 3D presentations). Tickets to other halls run for the usual 189 CZK (215 CZK for 3D, and another 19 CZK for the glasses).
The new Cinema City Chodov location also features three cinemas with Dolby Atmos Sound, the industry’s leading surround sound system that allows for up to 128 separate audio tracks.
Dolby Atmos was implemented in Prague way back in 2012, when first available, by Premiere Cinemas Park Hostivař - a notoriously out-of-the-way location via Prague public transport. It’s a genuine - and usually very noticeable - improvement over the usual multiplex sound system, and certainly worth seeking out for movies that take advantage of it, such as the recently-released Blade Runner 2049. Better late than never.
Press releases also tout “state of the art” laser projectors at Cinema City Chodov, but don’t reveal further details; on Facebook, the company identified the projectors as 2K Barco Laser models, but one would hope that at least some of the screening halls feature 4K technology.
Three VIP halls - a rival to CineStar Anděl’s Gold Class, perhaps - are described as having “even more comfortable” seating and their own dining facilities, making the location ideal for private events. Each VIP hall has 40 reclining seats.
VIP tickets at Cinema City Chodov run for a eye-opening 550 CZK, but include a little something extra: an all-you-can-eat (and drink!) buffet for 30 minutes before the projection and during the length of the movie.
The all-you-can eat options include popcorn, nachos, and soft drinks, but also an impressive menu, seasonally updated, that includes a variety of soups, salads, starters, and main courses that include meat dishes, pasta, and pizza.